Ο πρώτος κβαντικός κοσμολόγος

August 23, 2008 at 5:26 pm (ΤΟ ΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΟΝΙΚΟ ΠΝΕΥΜΑ ΤΩΝ ΑΡ)

http://cosmicvariance.com/2008/08/21/the-first-quantum-cosmologist/

Many of you scoffed last week when I mentioned that Lucretius had been a pioneer in statistical mechanics. (Not out loud, but inwardly, there was scoffing.) But it’s true. Check out this passage from De Rerum Natura, in which Lucretius proposes that the universe arises as a quantum fluctuation:

For surely the atoms did not hold council, assigning order to each, flexing their keen minds with questions of place and motion and who goes where.

But shuffled and jumbled in many ways, in the course of endless time they are buffeted, driven along, chancing upon all motions, combinations.

At last they fall into such an arrangement as would create this universe…

Lucretius, along with Democritus and Epicurus, was an early champion of atomism — the idea that the tremendous variety of substances we see around us arise from different combinations of a few kinds of underlying particles. He was also a materialist, believing that the atoms obeyed laws, not that they received external guidance. So a problem arose: how could all of that regular atomic motion give rise to the complexity we see around us? In response, Lucretius (actually Epicurus — see below) invented the “swerve” — an occasional, unpredictable deviation from regular atomic behavior. And then, he points out, if you wait long enough you will swerve your way into the universe.

http://cosmicvariance.com/2008/08/21/the-first-quantum-cosmologist/

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